Nocturne

Nocturne is a ~20 minute piece of music that I’ve been constructing, on and off, for the last few years. You can listen/download below.

The music is built from recordings of instruments (ukulele, classical guitar, or charango). The inspiration was Wassily Kandinsky’s “Swinging,” which I saw at the Tate Modern. That piece is a visual interpretation of abstract music, and I strove to turn that style back into sound again; arrangements of colorful, simple, abstract shapes, arranged carefully. The pieces are mostly variations on themes, and there are some numerological easter eggs to find; for instance, I often used rhythmic or structural units corresponding to the number of strings on the instrument I was playing (4 on a ukulele, 6 on a guitar, and 5/10 on a charango).

The names of the pieces are meant to describe something about their forms, and I chose the title ‘Nocturne’ since I think the sometimes disjointed structure of the music reminds me of dreaming.

Every sound* on the album comes from a recording of the instrument used for that track – short melodies but also twangs, knocks, and scrapes. Some have been so heavily processed that this assertion is both unprovable and unimportant, but at least as a compositional tool it has some value.

Thanks to my parents for giving me various stringed instruments over the years, to Bill Bing and Caltech for access to the studio, and to Sam Salem for mastering and use of his nice speakers to mix on!

If you click through to the bandcamp page, you can download the album (for free if you want), which comes with a pdf explaining more about it.

* there are two exceptions: 1) the saw wave synthesizer on the first track is a synthesizer, though I suppose I could lie to you and say I constructed it by looping, enveloping, and filtering a linear interpolation of a two-sample piece of a recording. 2) There’s a recording of me breathing at one point in ‘Journey’.

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Debug EP

Here’s a new collection of FM-synthesizer-based tracks for you to listen to while programming your computer or perhaps taking a jog. You can download the whole thing for free from Bandcamp:

Sanan and Salem, Purveyors of Fine Interactive Art since 2007

Sam Salem and I have a new website for our collaborative efforts!

Pond Life III

Pond Life III was a great success at the S.LOW Projekt Berlin. Many thanks to Ricardo Climent, Iain McCurdy, and the whole S.LOW team!

Click here to see a video of the installation on vimeo:

Pond Life III Opens Tomorrow!

Pond Life III opens tomorrow as part of theĀ s.LOW Projekt. If you happen to be in Berlin, come check it out!


Opening 1900-2100 , Thursday August 5. See this flyer for directions.

s.LOW Projekt

I’m very excited that Sam Salem and I will be presenting and giving a talk on Pondlife III, the latest version of our audiovisual installation, at the s.LOW Projekt in Berlin this August, managed by Ricardo Climent! See the linked site for full schedule and information.

s.LOW is a Berlin-based cross-disciplinary project involving 34 international and national visual artists, music composers working with electronic media, musicologists, performers, engineers, physical scientists and film-makers. The project aims to articulate synergies from such a mixed community of individuals who have been invited to respond to the concept of 'slow' and or 'low ', in the context of the city of Berlin.

A major focus exists on the exchange of methodologies and knowledge, to address similar creative questions, which will investigate ideas such as; the creative use of s/low technologies versus cutting-edge ones; the degree of speed built into the creative process/thinking, particularly in cross-disciplinary works; high-low cultural streams as experienced by participants coming from academic and non-academic environments; slow/fast environmental impact of art and artists producing art; and finally, it has additional scope for investigation around vocabulary such as; low-cost/ recycled materials/low-budget/open source and related grammar.

As the result of collaborations among practitioners and their interaction with the local community, expected outcomes will range from the creation of new works, to residencies, screenings, discussion of methodologies employed, workshops, performances, coffee roundtables, etc., which will take place from July 15th to August 20th, 2010.

Pondlife III runs August 5th-11th, we will be giving a presentation on it at 1600 on August 6th. If you’re in or near Berlin, let me know!

Pondlife II at NYCEMF

Sam Salem and I showed Pondlife II at the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival. Thanks to them for having us!

Setting up


Here’s a video:

Pond Life II @ NYCEMF2, March 25th 2010, NYC from Fatal Error on Vimeo.